It’s hard to believe that seven weeks of The Great Canadian Baking Show They’ve already come and gone, but as they say, time flies when you’re having fun. This season has been one of the most enjoyable to watch in recent memory, which makes sense considering the sheer level of talent, creativity, and charisma in this year’s batch of bakers.
Of the three finalists, Lauren is probably the baker with the most drive on her side, having won two of the previous three Star Baker honors. With back-to-back wins at the start of Season 6, Chi is still tied with Lauren for the most wins, so we know they have what it takes to go all the way.
Zoya has had one less Star Baker ending, but all three have spent most of their time on GCBS near the top, so it’s safe to say it’s still anyone’s game to win.
After a quick and harrowing trip down GCBS Season 6 memory lane, we find our final three competitors looking sharply dressed and as determined as ever. The bakers are greeted by co-hosts and co-judges, who, to our delight, are joined by Ann Pornel.
For the last signature bake of the season, the bakers are told to travel to the City of Love to test their choux pastry skills. They’ll have to create their own version of a Paris-Brest classic, which is traditionally filled with praline cream and topped with sliced almonds.
Both Lauren and Zoya choose to go the salty route, while Chi decides to go with a sweet flavor profile. The decision to stray from the pack clearly pays off, as Feldeisen describes Chi’s dessert as pure genius. Lauren’s choux is well done, but not strong enough to prevent the filling from overpowering it.
Zoya’s is almost as vibrant as Chi’s, and it might actually taste better, too. The judges are so impressed that they are almost speechless. Feldeisen, a two-time James Beard Award nominee of French origin and one of Chocolatier Magazine’s Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America, says he is honored. He scores one for Zoya.
For Technical Bake, bakers will travel from France to Italy to sample a Sicilian cassata made with ricotta, marzipan and sponge cake, and topped with candied fruit and royal icing.
With seemingly fewer recipe instructions than ever before, finalists are forced to make more educated guesses than they obviously would have liked, not to mention trying to remember the exact shape of a trapezoid. While each of the three bakers’ submissions looks relatively good, there’s no doubt that they’re all quite different from each other.
Zoya and Chi were upstairs coming out of the Signature, but this round wasn’t even close; Lauren absolutely crushes it to win her third tech challenge of the season. Mark one for Lauren. If Chi comes in third here, it means they will most likely need to win the Show Stopper convincingly to propel them to the top, but as the judges point out, all three bakers are immensely talented so we definitely won’t rule Chi out. . yet.
For the final challenge of the season, the bakers are told to make a garden party dessert centerpiece made up of at least three different bakes. Beyond that parameter, bakers are free to do as they please.
Lauren opts for a vegan garden party theme, Chi says they’re doing a Mid-Autumn Festival tribute, and Zoya decides on a wedding tower dedicated to a friend who got married while she was at the store.
As if we weren’t enamored enough with these three bakers, as they zoom in on their Show Stoppers, GCBS runs a short run through heartwarming home videos featuring each of their loved ones. I also just realized that all three of them are wearing food themed earrings so I love them even more now.
After a terrifyingly tense final few minutes, the bakers breathe a collective sigh of relief as everyone manages to finish on time. Lauren is the first to approach the judging table (with the help of Shane Lewis) and, aside from her creative team, Kennaley says she’s incredibly impressed that Lauren was able to bring her concept together on so many levels. None of the judges offer a single critique we see on camera, so we’re left to assume her Show Stopper is a smash hit.
Zoya seemed to be having some trouble during the Show Stopper challenge, but at first glance, her baking looks just as flashy as Lauren’s, if not more so. Whatever obstacles she encountered in this challenge, they don’t appear to have knocked out the highly adaptable Edmonton-based baker. She gets some flak about her choux, but the perfection of her pandan and coconut wedding cake might make up for the little misfire.
As the camera pans across Chi’s Show Stopper, Kennaley steals the words out of my mouth: “I feel like I’m looking at a beautiful store window.” Seriously, wow. If he tastes as good as he looks, the judges will have another tough decision on their hands. They received some flak for their Mont Blanc red bean and pineapple cakes, but the presentation alone should keep Chi in the running.
As the judges deliberate their final decision for Season 6, the finalists reunite with their former competitors and their loved ones, who line up to hear the judges’ final verdict.
Winner of the sixth season of the Great Canadian Baking Show
Despite being just 21 years old and the youngest baker of the three by over a decade, Lauren Tjoe baked season 6 to her eventual victory like a seasoned pro. Zoya and Chi proved that they are exceptionally skilled bakers, but Lauren’s consistency, creativity and prodigious technical prowess were on another level and that is what led to her victory.
This was easily my favorite season so far and one of the most talented trios to ever compete in the finals. Beyond their baking skills, the three of them had memorable moments that I’m sure they will remember with pride. Even though they were competing, they were always there to help and encourage each other, and it was wonderful to watch their sense of humor in the face of almost insurmountable challenges. I’m looking forward to seeing where their success on the show takes them next.
Season 6 of The Great Canadian Baking Show It might be over, but we’re not done with GCBS yet!
Next week, tune in to watch four fan favorites from seasons past battle it out for the Holiday Star Baker title on the Great Canadian Baking Show‘s 2022 Holiday episode airing Sunday, November 27 on CBC and CBC Gem.